Her + His Car Reviews

2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$29,485 $27,890 base price, $29,485 price as tested
The new 2021 with its 1.6 Liter Turbo 4-Cylinder engine is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This AWD has acceptable acceleration with the 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft of torque. This newest introduction to the subcompact utility vehicle segment responds well, brakes responsively and handles overall in a satisfactorily manner

The dual-clutch transmission has been reported to be sluggish and not as quick as it could be. Reliability, one of the biggest criteria when buying a new car, remains open, or undetermined, as this is a new model.
Getting behind the wheel of a compact SUV has rarely been so spirited and sporty as the Seltos.

This is a CUV meant to be driven for sheer fun. The acceleration is considerably quicker than on comparable vehicles, and the handling is both sporty and stable. Corners are special fun! Braking seems very sensitive for a bit before you get used to the car. Once you get used to it, you're fine
Fuel Economy
25 city miles, 27 combined miles and 30 highway miles. Really outstanding fuel economy for a CUV in this class. Getting behind the wheel of a compact SUV has rarely been so spirited and sporty as the Seltos.

This is a CUV meant to be driven for sheer fun. The acceleration is considerably quicker than on comparable vehicles, and the handling is both sporty and stable. Corners are special fun! Braking seems very sensitive for a bit before you get used to the car. Once you get used to it, you're fine.
The Car
KIA announced that March 2021 was their best sales month in the history of the company in the USA, in part with the launch and sales of the #Seltos. This model is based on the same platform as the Kona, but with a slice of design inspiration from Land Rover. Kia creative engineers knocked it out of the park with this one, as they continue to take a formula of outstanding, innovative design and add value, space and technology, at the 'KIA price point' and add in their industry-leading warranty.

Simply put, we love the Kia Seltos. It's universal and has great appeal. And, while it is in the CUV category, it does prove to have more space than many rivals. Competitors are the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Crosstrex. Each is a winner in its own right, but the Seltos has them on full attention, especially with all the technology built into it.

NOTE: With whatever model you are considering, a test drive is a must. Little things come up in a test drive that one never can foresee, including personal preferences and/or dislikes and aversions to various features, like seating and interior design. While car buyers think they want the ease of buying a car online, be sure to do your homework to ensure you have a backdoor. A $30-40,000 purchase that hasn't been thoroughly vetted, needs some wiggle room, if you are not 100% happy, and after a week, aren't happy with your purchase. Alright, let's get back to the review and car features.

The Seltos has managed to deliver more cargo room and a more spacious second row for passengers than previously mentioned brands and models. With the rear seats folded flat, there is just shy of 63 cubic feet of packing space - bravo. The driver's seat has a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat for easy, convenient movement.

This model features a reclining back seat which was put to use when my friend Matt called me as his full-sized mountain bike got a flat tire. I went to pick him up and we easily stowed the bike in the back of the Seltos - with no cramping.
If there's one car company that is going to give others a fit in the auto industry, it's Kia.

With designs that are light years ahead of competitors, innovative technology, solid quality control, and an amazing transformation from a decent, but unspectacular auto maker, to a clear leader that other companies would do well to take seriously, Kia is growing to be quite the company to go to no matter what you are looking for, except for trucks.

It doesn't have trucks but give it time. I would not be surprised if it puts in some serious competition in that corner of the transportation market as well.

The Seltos is a knockout. I can't think of a single thing short of a rather tough to understand audio infotainment system (thanks to whoever drove it before me and took the instruction booklet!)--which you really need on the Selto.
Dual Front Advanced Airbags, Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side & Full-Length Curtain Airbags. Electronic Stability Control. Downhill Brake hill Start assist Control. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist Ped, Blind-Spot Collision Warning, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist-Rear, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist.

Electronic Parking Brake, Smart Key and Push Button Start, Remote Start, Safe Exit Assist. Add in a Five year/60,000 Mile Roadside Assistance program for protection.
Again, an example of a list chock full of standard safety equipment:

Forward-Collision-Avoidance Assist-Pedestrian; blind spot collision warning; Blind Spot Collision avoidance assist in the rear.

Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning & Avoidance assist; Lane-Keeping Assist and Lane-Following Assist; Lane Departure Warning; Driver Attention Warning, and High Beam Assist. All of this is in addition to the multitude of standard safety stuff found in every new car and truck these days.
The vehicle is supported by 18" Alloy Wheels, Roof Rails and Fog Lamps, vehicle has an Upgraded Grille with Integrated Led Light Bar, LED Daytime Running Lights and Taillights, Power, heated outside Mirrors w Led Turn Signal Indicators and a Compact Spare Tire.

8" Touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines. Heated, Front Seats. USB Multimedia Port, Combo Leather-Cloth Seats and Trim, Steering Wheel Contact for Bluetooth, Audio and Cruise Control. 60/40 Folding Seats and Easy-Reclining Rear Seats.

UVO LINK with Navigation and 10.25" Display - comes with 1-year subscription. Dual-Level Cargo Floor. BOSE® premium Audio, SIRIUS XM Radio with 3-month free subscription. 7" LCD Color Instrument Cluster. Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. Highway Driving Assist. Electronic Parking Assist. 10-Way Power Drivers Side Seat with Power Lumbar.

Auto Dimming Rearview Mirror, Illuminated Sun visor Mirror, Rear USB Charge Port, Rear Passenger Air Vents, Safe Exit Assist.
There's a pretty generous helping of standard equipment features on our Seltos S Turbo. They include: Eight-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Car Play; Rear camera with dynamic guidelines; eight inch touchscreen/ w Android Auto & Apple Car Play; USB Multimedia port; Heated front seats, combination Sofino Leatherette and The Cloth Seat Trim; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; sliding front center armrest; power heated outside mirrors/ with LED Turn Signal Indicators; a compact spare tire; Bose Premium Audio, sound-connected lighting; UVO link with navigation, 10.25 inch display; one year trial for UVO; seven-inch color instrument cluster; smart cruise control with Stop and Go; highway driving assist; rear seat center armrest; remote keyless entry; steering wheel mounted controls (Bluetooth/Audio/Cruise; 60/40 split-folding and reclining rear seats; dual level cargo floor; 18 inch alloy wheels, roof rails; fog lamps; upgraded grille with integrated LED Light Bar; LED Daytime Running lights and taillights; 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar; smart key and pushbutton start; remote start on key fob; wireless phone charger, full automatic temperature control; auto-dimming rearview mirror; auto-dimming rear view mirror; LED interior lighting; rear USB charge port; cargo cover and safe exit assist.
Aesthetics & Styling
The 2021 Seltos takes this CUV category by storm with its very impressive, design-friendly look and ambient lighting, adding a top-class cargo and passenger space, along with high-tech technology features and the latest comfort creatures.

We even felt like we were in a spa with some new-age sounds to help calm any driver or passenger - but isn't that what KIA designers do? Bring features into the cabin first? We did feel like this helped to mitigate a someone noisy - and boxy - front cabin. But whatever the reason, we thought the new age sounds were innovative. As well as the Land Rover-ish appeal, at an under $30K price point.

With KIA's remarkable and industry-leading warranty, it is compelling and gets attention.

This brand has been named J.D. Power's #1 Mass Market Brand 5 Years in a Row. It's not hard to see why!
The Seltos manages to look aggressive and contemporary and claiming its own special cues like a two-toned look and a really cool, sporty front end that distinguishes it quite a bit from other cars on the road. But my favorite feature was inside the Seltos: a multi-choice system of ambiance experiences that includes a crackling fire, crunchy snow, a crowded cafe bistro, a rainy day, and a trip to the ocean.

I had a few cool nights in the Kia Seltos, and as I turned on the heated seats and the warm side of the climate control system, I was also treated to the quite authentic sound of a crackling fire through the cars speakers--a very cool way of providing ambiance.

My other favorite experience with the multimedia experience was the sounds of crashing waves at the beach. Imagine driving the Seltos along the ocean and hearing those waves with the windows open! Way cool.
10 Year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty. Five Year/60,000-mile Limited Basic Warranty; Five Year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance Program. Kia has hands-down the most competitive warranty in the auto business. 10 year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. five year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty; and five year/60,000-mile roadside assistance program.